A beautifully comforting chickpea curry with coconut oil, coconut chunks and a perfect blend of spices all slow-cooked for a richer flavour.






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (13 votes)


  • 50 g dried black chickpeas, soaked overnight (or 100 g drained canned chickpeas)
  • 1½ tbsp coconut oil
  • 100 g sliced brown onion
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 20 g ginger, peeled and sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground mace
  • 50 g grated fresh or frozen and thawed coconut, plus extra to serve
  • ½ tsp brown mustard seeds
  • dried red chillies
  • 3-4 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


This recipe needs to be started one day in advance.

  1. Drain the soaked chickpeas and place in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover well. Bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat until tender. Alternatively, you can use tinned chickpeas.
  2. Heat all but 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the onion, fennel, cinnamon and cloves and stir for a few minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the ginger and a pinch of salt and stir for a few minutes. Add the ground spices and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant, then add the coconut and cook, stirring regularly for 6-7 minutes or until the coconut is golden. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add 80 ml (⅓ cup) water and blend into a smooth paste.
  3. Heat the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil in a small frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook for 30-60 seconds or until they just stop popping. Stir in the curry leaves and dried chilli and cook for 30 seconds, then add the paste and stir to combine well. Add the cooked chickpeas, tamarind paste and 125 ml (½ cup) water. Season with salt, then bring to a gentle boil. Cook for a few minutes or until the chickpeas have warmed through and the sauce thickens slightly. Top with a little extra coconut to serve.


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Photography by Andrew Dorn.